You can’t feel the holiday spirit any stronger than in Eureka Springs, a Victorian-era village with a historic downtown seemingly ripped out of the pages of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
The ambiance, and numerous events throughout the holiday season make Eureka Springs a festive place to visit.
- Christmas at The Crescent – More than 30 trees are adorned and illuminated on nearly 15 acres of The East Lawn of the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. Each tree is decorated by and for a local charity. On Thursday, Dec. 10, the Ozarks Chorale will sing carols and secular tunes in the Crystal Dining Room Restaurant at 6 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit crescent-hotel.com.
- Lights of The Great Passion Play – Christmas lights are on display at The Great Passion Play as you make your way to see the Christ of the Ozarks statue. You can see the lights from dark until 8 p.m. every night until Jan. 2. The lights are available to see by donations, which help produce the 2016 Passion Play season that starts in May of 2016. At night see the lights, by day visit the Holy Land Tour, Backstage Area, and enjoy lunch. These daytime tickets are available November through April. Call 479-253-9200 or click here to get your tickets. For more information, visit greatpassionplay.org.
- Holidays in the Hills Concert – The celebratory sounds of four-part harmony by the Ozarks Chorale usher in the holiday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12 at the historic Eureka Springs Auditorium. Now in its 20th season, the Ozarks Chorale has come to mean the highest standard of choral music to both its singers and audiences. Ozarks Chorale members hail from throughout the region. This year’s holiday concert features selections from a variety of musical styles from Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” to traditional Spanish carols, and features the compositions of the Ozarks “composer in residence, Ellen Stephenson, who is also the group’s accompanist. Tickets may be purchased at The Auditorium ticket office for $10. Student tickets are free. The box office will open one hour prior to the performance. Proceeds from the sale of intermission refreshments will benefit the Carroll County Music Group, a local nonprofit organization associated with the National Federation of Music Clubs. For more information, visit theozarkschorale.org.
- Snow Village and Train — The Snow Village and Train display at Gaskins Switch Village is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays through Dec. 20. The exhibit consists of over 300 buildings in a wintry setting, together with three Lionel 0 scale trains, a Lionel 0 scale trolley, and many accessories and surprises. Special evening hours, and final dates of the event are 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, December 21, 22, and 23. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 5 through 12. Advance tickets not needed, just pay at the door. This amazing collection is shown through the generosity of Larry and Cathy Handley, Gaskins Switch and Shirley Bird. It is a fundraiser for the Eureka Springs Historical Museum. For more information, call 479-253-9417.
- Night of a Thousand Santas – Meet at Basin Spring Park to get some Santa gear, or wear your own. Then, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., stroll along with all the Santas to pubs throughout the downtown to play some Reindeer Games. The cost to play is $10. Along the way, you can also play the Bad Santa Selfie game by posting selfies to Instagram for a chance to win prizes. Get tickets at ReserveEureka.com.
- Illuminated Springs Tour – From 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, guided holiday walking tours are offered every half hour. Tickets are available at Basin Park Hotel and Sweet Spring during the tour hours. The cost is $15 for adults, and free for children. During the event, hot cocoa is available at All Seasons Inn. For more information, visit eurekaspringschristmas.com.
- Elfie Selfie Contest – There are 12 elves hidden in downtown shop windows. Take a selfie with an elf and post it on Instagram. Use the hashtags #OnlyinEurekaand #ElfinEureka, and tag the store if possible. The contest for prizes goes through Dec. 13. Details available at on the Facebook Page.
- Santa in the Park featuring Santa & Reindeer Games– Sit on Santa’s lap, enjoy performances by momandpop, and plenty of other fun for the whole family from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Basin Spring Park.